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Home arrow News arrow Defence arrow AK Antony inaugurates Aero India 2011, participants Forging Partnerships
AK Antony inaugurates Aero India 2011, participants Forging Partnerships Print E-mail
Written by Cherian   
Thursday, 10 February 2011
Bangalore: Defence Minister Shri AK Antony inaugurated Asia’s biggest aerospace exposition, Aero India-2011 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, today.

"This event will further enhance India’s emergence as an attractive market and a key outsourcing hub for global aerospace firms," said Antony in his inaugural address. He stated that domestic and international firms in the aerospace and civil aviation sector will derive maximum benefit from the business potential displayed at the show.

A good number of the participating firms have announced partnerships in the form of co-production, joint ventures and work orders. Most of the aerospace primes and their tier one suppliers are scouting for appropriate vendors in order to be able to discharge their offset obligations effectively.

With India expected to spend over $100 billion on defence purchases in the next 10 years, it is estimated that the offsets would be worth $30 billion.

"We have charted out a course to increase self-reliance in the defence sector by creating a strong industrial base in the country. The recently released Defence Production Policy spells out the blueprint of the road-map that we intend to follow. We are encouraging our public and private sector industries to become active partners in this initiative," said the Defence Minister urging leading international aerospace companies to form long-term partnerships with the Indian industry. He noted with satisfaction that the major Indian Companies other than HAL have ventured into the sector.

Assuring OEMs of better opportunities while building indigenous capabilities, Antony said fine-tuning of Defence Procurement Procedure through periodic reviews will make it transparent and efficient.

"We have expanded the scope of existing Offset policy guidelines to include 'civil aerospace', 'internal security' and 'training' to include eligible products and services for the discharge of offset obligations" he stated.

Antony pointed out that defence offsets should not be a stumbling block to modernization. He said that new sectors would be opened up to foreign manufacturers of military hardware to enable them fulfil their offsets commitments. The MoD has set up a committee under the DG-Acquisition, with all stake-holders, to study the new areas in which offsets investments could be allowed to enable India develop its own industrial base for self-reliance in hi-tech sectors.

He said that Defence PSUs should be competitive and that there was no question of a monopoly. "All PSUs are in the process of modernization. We have taken a decision to modernize all 40 ordinance factories in a phased manner in order of priority," he said.

Speaking about the MMRCA deal, Antony said the contract would be awarded to one of the six competitors in the next financial year. There would be no political interference or influence on who would win the contract, he added.

Reiterating Indian Government’s commitment to ensure rapid modernisation of the Armed Forces with state-of-the-art systems, equipment and platforms, Defence Minister stated that the defence expenditure, currently at 2.5% of GDP, will increase over the next two decades.

India’s aerospace sector has emerged as the fastest-growing one in the world. With Hindustan Aeronautics Limited having rich experience in the field, Antony said the entry of other major companies in the fray was a positive and an encouraging development.

Antony also announced dates for the next edition of Aero India, to be held at Bangalore, from February 6-10, 2013.

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